Famous Irish singer and songwriter Tommy Sands is set for his first tour of the province. Submitted Photo
Tommy Sands, one of Irelands most beloved singer-songwriters, will be making his first appearance in the province this week.
And its all due to a chance encounter with Lloyd Hollett of the Newfoundland Insectarium.
Hollett has been a fan of Sands for years now, and a recent visit to Ireland prompted him to do a bit of research on his musical hero.
My wife and I were going over for a holiday about a year ago and I looked up on the Tommy Sands website to see if he was performing while we were there, Hollett said. There was nothing listed, so I took a chance and sent him an e-mail.
Lo and behold, he answered me and said that he wasnt sure if hed be performing then but, he said I should contact him nearer to our departure date. So I e-mailed him again about three weeks before we left. He wrote back the same day and said that he wasnt doing any touring, but he sent me his phone number and told me to look him up while we were in Ireland.
Hollett and his wife were staying with some friends in Belfast before travelling to Dublin. Sands house was on the way, and after some prompting from his friend, Hollett phoned him.
Sure enough, he told us to drop by and see him, Hollett said. We were late getting there the day we were supposed to meet him, but he was really gracious.
He invited us into his home and we spent a couple of hours with him talking about all sorts of things and he sang a song for us and everything. It was really a terrific experience.
When Hollett asked Sands if hed ever been to Newfoundland, the singer replied that he hadnt but hed always wanted to visit the province and that he had a cousin in St. Johns.
Hollett said the two of them worked out the details of his trip from there.
Sands, who was also a key player in the Good Friday Agreement that settled the bloody dispute between Northern Irelands Protestants and Catholics, has performed in places like Carnegie Hall and Moscows Olympic Stadium during his long career. And his music has been performed by everyone from Joan Baez to The Dubliners.
Hollett said hes excited that Sands is coming to perform on the west coast as well.
Sands will be performing at the Woody Point Heritage Theatre Thursday in Pasadena, at the Oasis Grillhouse Friday and in St. Johns at the Gower Street United Church Saturday.
Sands tours internationally each year, including North American dates.
Hollett said if this summers concert is a success, he hopes to bring Sands back again in future years.
The Western Star